§ Mr. Hargreaves
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what changes will be made to cash and running cost limits within class IV of the estimates for 1996–97. 
§ Mr. Lang
Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class IV, vote 1—programmes and administration—will be increased by £13,930,000 from £1,301,655,000 to £1,315,585,000. This net increase results from:
- (i) to take-up of running cost and capital end-year flexibility (£17,437,000) as announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 12 July 1996 (Official Report, cols 326–331);
- (ii) agreed changes to NIREX payments (£1.760,000);
- (iii) an adjustment to the classification of Gas Consumer Council receipts from appropriations-in-aid to consolidated fund extra receipts (£2,894,000); and
- (iv) other miscellaneous changes (£194,000); offset by
- (v) a net reduction to provision in respect of AEA Technology privatisation costs (-£3,855,000); and
- (vi) the movement of provision from the Small Finns Loan Guarantee Scheme to the non-cash limited Shipbuilding Intervention Fund (-£4,500,000).
Within this total, the gross running costs limit for the Department of Trade and Industry is being increased by £17,782,000 from £364,037,000 to £381,819,000. This change comprises:
- (i) the take-up of running costs end-year flexibility (£15,654,000);
- (ii) an adjustment in Insolvency Service fee income required for accounting purposes (£1,500,000);
- (iii) the transfer of all Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service provision to running costs (£659,000);
uoffset by other minor net transfers of provision (-£31,000).277W
A further increase to consolidated fund extra receipts of £215,000,000 is also expected following privatisation of AEA Technology.
The net effect of all the agreed changes to NIREX payments—including reductions to nationalised industries external financing limits of £2,990,000, which are not reflected in this vote—gives an overall benefit to the Exchequer of £1,230,000.
Also, subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class IV, vote 11—Office of Telecommunications—will be increased by £1,118,000 from £9,094,000 to £10,212,000 and the running cost limit will be increased by £1,059,000 from £8,677,000 to £9,736,000. The increase is required to meet new requirements, arising from European and UK legislation, to ensure that pro-competition policies are implemented and to meet additional litigation costs.
In addition, subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class IV, vote 12—Office of Gas Supply—will be increased by £2,000,000 from £7,743,000 to £9,743,000 and the running costs limit similarly increased from £8,452,000 to £10,452,000. The requirement results from additional running costs associated with the extension of domestic competition, further assessment of network code and the referral to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on price controls.
Additionally, subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class IV, vote 13—Office of Electricity Regulation—will be increased by £4,150,000 from £10,232,000 to £14,382,000 and the running costs limit by £4,100,000 from £10,694,000 to £14,794,000. These changes reflect the extra resources required by the Director General of Electricity Supply to fulfil his obligations under the Electricity Act 1989.
All such increases will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.